2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

Everything came to a screeching halt as Brett was about to install the intake manifold last Saturday. He discovered (much too late) a large crack that had been J-B welded. This won’t do.

So after a phone call and a few photos, Ted King at PER was kind enough to step up and track down a possible replacement from a scrap yard in Troutsdale.

While cracks in intake manifolds are a rare problem, Ted’s theory is that my engine’s manifold was missing an important spring that prevents an internal damper/diverter from getting stuck. So exhaust was flowing back into the intake manifold at 1,000° F full-time, thereby stressing the metal to the point of failure.

Here’s Ted at his shop with the manifolds side-by-side:

They’re a close match, but not close enough. So Ted is looking again to see if we can source a working solution. Brett is scheduled to finish the job on Friday, so hopefully luck is on our side.

Tick… tick… tick…

Meanwhile, I spent Tuesday chasing down another dozen parts from Brett’s scavenger hunt with some help from Amazon.com and Wayne at the NAPA store in Tigard. Parts like a thermostat, oil sending unit pigtail, distributor cap and rotor, pipe plugs, spark plugs and wires, heater hose, fuel hose. And then various fluids like type F transmission fluid and full-strength coolant.

The problem with NAPA is that their stores are franchised and so, for some reason, they don’t share database information. And their online database is pretty sloppy. The Ford P-400 apparently never existed, and some of the parts that are searchable under the P-350 are misnamed. For example, the Oil Sending Unit Pigtail shows up under Cigarette Lighter Connector. So everything basically has to be matched visually.


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